My Birthday: A Retrospective.

I turn 36 on July 24th. So before I move forward, I like to look back.
  1. Probably 3.
    I was such a cute kid.
  2. Maybe... 4? 5?
    This was in my parents backyard and I remember I was in L to the OVE with this neighbor boy. His name was John Olson, and I wish he didn't have such a generic name so I could find him on social media.
  3. 9. Follow me on this one.
    Yes this pic is from today, but I got that batting glove as a gift for my 9th birthday. My party consisted of only classmates, but there was a girl a year older than me on my little league team and I idolized her! I remember being so nervous when I invited her, and then she came and gave me this bomb ass glove as a gift. We still run into each other now and then, and the conversation of the glove recently came up. What can I say, I'm a hoarder of nostalgia.
  4. I think 11?
    My parents took me and a friend to South Dakota. My brother got me this shirt as a gift, it was custom made and had Mark Grace's name and number on the back. I loved that shirt. I can't offer any explanation for the rest of that disaster of an ensemble.
  5. Thirteen.
    This is the only photo I'll allow from my 13th birthday party, because 13 was not a good look on me. My friend Christina and I had a joint party at my house, and it was the first coed party in our class. We were baseball obsessed, so I had a Cubs cake and she had a Rockies cake. We sang karaoke and slow danced with boys to Janet Jackson and stayed up all night and walked to the donut shop at 6am. It was a quintessential coming of age teenage party.
  6. 20. College. When not 1 but 2 handles of swill vodka is the BEST GIFT EVER!!!!!!!
  7. 21. I worked at a shoe store, and my boss got me this sweet clown cake.
  8. My Power Hour
    In case this is only a sad Midwest thing, your power hour is from midnight to 1am before your 21st birthday. You're officially legal, the bar is open for an hour, and you spend that hour drinking as much as humanly possible. That is not what I did with my power hour. I spent it standing in line at the Walmart, waiting to buy the new N*Sync album. God I miss the sweet innocence of the 90's.
  9. My 21st Birthday
    With 3 of my favorite fellas. I'll be celebrating 36 with 2 of them and their amazing wives and kids. There are other photos from this night, but they involve me laying in a gutter and getting stuck in a bucket, so, no.
  10. Twenty three
    I'm sick that I don't have any photos from this night. It was the best party. I was living in Seattle, working for a band, and myself, the lead singer, and the sound engineer all have late July birthdays. We were (are) 3 badass ladies who wanted an epic party and we got it. Friends came in from all over the country, we rented out a gorgeous lakeside space, we had matching t-shirts, custom individual cakes, and a whole lineup of our favorite musicians and artists providing live entertainment.
  11. 24 - Daytime
    I was working on a film set, and a girlfriend brought birthday cupcakes for the whole crew. I'm trying to figure out why I'm wearing a hoodie under a Columbia ski coat when my birthday is in July.
  12. 24 - Nighttime
    That night the whole cast and crew went out to the town bar to celebrate. I was what I thought at the time was massively in love, everyone sang Happy Birthday, and I was the center of attention. A Leo's dream.
  13. 26
    I had just moved to Chicago. I remember I went out with my new roommates, I wore crazy insane teal palazzo pants, and got an engraved flask as a gift. That makes sense.
  14. 27 part 1
    Turns out I shared my birthday with my first roommate in Chicago, and then another friend's is the day before. This particular year we had a big dinner at this tapas restaurant, and my one friend introduced us to her new boyfriend. I ended up sitting next to him, and he entertained me with the story of his new invention, the Sneak A Leak; a tube contraction that a man wears and snakes from his crotch down his leg and out his pant leg, so he can piss anywhere. Like concerts, sporting events, etc.
  15. 27 part 2
    I then went out with my group of work friends and ended up at the 4 am bar, which is very rare for me. And obviously I wasn't accustomed to it, because I ended up screaming at my on again/off again beau to take me home while everyone else laughed and he begrudgingly complied.
  16. My 28th Birthday
    I skipped my 10 year high school reunion for this, and it was totally worth it. Had an amazing girls lunch with my friends.
  17. We day drank.
    This is me classily double fisting Jameson and Pinot Grigio.
  18. And my candle was a Clean Cotton Yankee Candle.
    Look at that blue eyeshadow my DAMN!
  19. And my friends got me a Cubs purse, and then Ryan Theriot came into our bar, and ended up signing it.
    I thought it was the best thing in the world at the time, but then Theriot became a douchebag, and I was left with this vandalized purse.
  20. Oh, and then the rest of the weekend we went to Milwaukee for the Cubs/Brewers series! And if you're wondering, that IS the same shirt I got for my 11th birthday.
  21. The big 30.
    This is technically the eve of my 30th. A friend got married that day, and I tried to keep my panic in check and stay cool and sophisticated. But then the clock struck midnight and I lost my marbles. I let a college friend give me a hickey, and spent the next night drinking whiskey with a hot Italian man named Fabio.
  22. 33. Woof.
    My first birthday as an orphan. My mom passed away in 2010, and my dad in April of 2013, just 3 months before my 33rd birthday. I remember feeling massively alone. A new wave of grief almost drown me, and I spent most of my day quietly sobbing in my office bathroom. But we ended on a higher note, with an amazing Italian dinner with my sister, sister in law, and two nieces. Family was definitely necessary.
  23. 35
    My sister came to town, we shopped, and swam, and ate pizza, and she tried to hook me up with some guy who had his initials tattooed on his knuckles. It was rediculous and hilarious and a story that she'll never live down.
  24. 36 - Updated with gratitude
    I've always been an old soul, and for the first time ever, my Sunday morning ritual felt age appropriate. Early wake up, dog walk, church, Meet the Press. After an afternoon of errands, I enjoyed the BEST birthday dinner with 4 great friends and their kids. It included a handmade banner, delicious cake, and so, so many laughs. It was a perfect day.